MSF class this week.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Hesaid, May 7, 2013.

  1. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,185
    Location:
    Central CA
    Ok, we've finally got everything all lined up, and will be taking the MSF course this week/weekend. Any words of advice? Any pointers? Should we study up on anything beforehand? Any ideas of what not to do? Shesaid is a little concerned about the early hours on the weekend, but I guess we'll just have to make the best of it. So tell me, what do we need to know?

    MV
    #1
  2. HooliKen

    HooliKen Awesome is a flavor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,100
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    Wheelies, drag pegs, and two fingers on clutch and brake..........:D


    Sorry couldn't resist.

    Best advice I can give is to pay attention, listen to the instructors, relax, and have fun.

    A motorcycle, if left to its own devices, can move in a straight line all on its own. What MSF concentrates on is the human interaction of turning and stopping. And be prepared to have "friction zone" pummelled into you.
    #2
  3. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2001
    Oddometer:
    17,865
    Location:
    Jax, FL
    Don't coach her. Let the instructors do the work.
    #3
  4. Capt Crash

    Capt Crash Benevolent Despot

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    238
    Location:
    SW I...DOH! NO!
    #4
  5. opticalmace

    opticalmace Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    165
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    Might help to know what the basic controls are (left lever clutch, right brake, etc...). Otherwise just have fun.
    #5
  6. motorat

    motorat TBD

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    974
    Location:
    SW WA
    listen.
    ask questions.
    have fun.
    bring a small cooler with water and a snack.
    #6
  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    13,210
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    Judging by your location, you may see my wife there.

    She has read through the text book, and done some riding around the neighborhood. She has ridden 250 and 600 dirt bikes, and a 750 supermoto. That should make the class supplied bikes feel light and relaxed, I think. :lol3

    I have given her some pointers, but tried not to overload her with stuff that might not match what the class teaches. Despite that, I encouraged her to do a couple of things wrong. She is aware of them, so hopefully she can unlearn them for the class.

    It is supposed to be in the low 90s, so bring plenty of drink, and don't overdress. Don't forget the list of items required for the course.
    #7
  8. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,584
    Location:
    By the Great Lakes
    Be a little early.

    Take hydration and snacks.

    Dress comfortably and within the guidelines.

    Listen to the rider coaches.

    Ask questions.

    Have fun. Even as an experienced rider, I had a good time in a BRC and learned a few things.
    #8
  9. El Pescador

    El Pescador Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Spring, TX
    Get an air compressor. You're going to be blowing up a lot of inflatable toys and you don't have enough breath for that...wait, that's my advice to NEW DADS. What was the question again?
    #9
  10. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    644
    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    -- Take a few moments at the beginning to pick a good bike that fits you well. I was way too tall and big for the GZ250 I grabbed first (plus the foot-forward position was a PITA the entire weekend). In hindsight I should have grabbed either the XT-225 or even the Ninja the course had, but I took the shiniest newest bike they had.

    -- I'm sure an MSF coach will be in here shortly to provide the details, but it's my understanding that you can botch a few things on the final exam and not fail. Meaning, don't stress out too much, this isn't the hardest test you'll ever take, not by a long shot. Honestly, IME, the only downside was that for us slow-learners two days in a parking lot was barely enough for me to get perfectly comfortable before the test. A third day in the saddle and I would have been perfect (not to mention a whole lot less nervous).

    And that was starting from complete and utter scratch-- somebody who already knows how to ride some will be just fine with the MSF, as long as they appreciate the coaches will want you to do it THEIR way, not YOUR way (i.e. you may have to unlearn some habits picked up along the way).
    #10
  11. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,185
    Location:
    Central CA
    Ok, that part we've got down pretty well.

    Well, let her know to be on the lookout for us. I'm not sure if walking in and giving the ADV salute is such a good idea, so...

    I've been trying not to ride too much, lest I pick up any bad habits, I'm sure I already have a few that will need adjusting.

    MV
    #11
  12. Steigs

    Steigs Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    271
    Location:
    Sin City
    Keep an open mind, have no expectations and enjoy yourself!

    And don't look down in the u-turn box.
    #12
  13. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,185
    Location:
    Central CA
    I'm a little worried about that one. Some of us were brought up to believe that clutches are used to engage/disengage the drivetrain, and to break torque to shift, not to control speed. So this one might be hard for me to get used to.

    I'm just worried about being on time! I'm not quite sure why we have to start so early, but I know it has been a major obstacle to our taking the class. I have to be honest, I really thought scheduling (and then attending) the class would be a bit easier, but frankly, I can see why many people opt not to take it.

    MV
    #13
  14. Capt Crash

    Capt Crash Benevolent Despot

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    238
    Location:
    SW I...DOH! NO!
    One of the beauties of the class! Don't worry about the clutch, first it's an oil bath and secondly it's not your bike!

    What time have they got you starting?
    #14
  15. AzItLies

    AzItLies Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    347
    being early is important. The MSF doesn't want riders on the range for more than 5 hrs... they start to get light headed and it becomes 'the law of diminishing returns...'

    re the clutch (friction zone)... yes, we were taught as kids 'don't ride the clutch!!' (of a car), but that's NOT the case with a bike, as already mentioned. A WET clutch is designed so you can ride it and not burn it out. It's critical for us on a bike, we need to ride the clutch anytime we're going slow. The throttle alone just isn't sensitive enough, with a bike.

    Most important things in the class? well, the things on the test: emergency braking, emergency swerving, proper cornering technique.

    Yes, the 'box' is on the test, but because it's not a skill that can keep you from crashing, it only counts as half what any of the others count for.

    There's a lot of good info in those classes, especially for someone brand new. But friction zone, weaving, perimeter turns, shifting, etc etc aren't necessarily the goals, they are the stepping stones to get a new rider to be able to do all those and show proficiency in those things mentioned above, for the test.

    While it's called the 'basic rider course', the culmination of the class is avoidance skills that could keep you from crashing. Things I'd bet half the riders (or more) out there never practice. So for them, it's an advanced course they couldn't pass.

    Take it seriously, it's designed to help us be as safe as possible.

    Cheers and have fun
    #15
  16. DomEOD

    DomEOD 'murica

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,563
    Location:
    Ft Carson, CO and SoCal
    Pretend you've never ridden a motorcycle before.. You'll learn a little more.
    #16
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    13,210
    Location:
    Western Sierras
    My wife's schedule:

    Thursday (classroom): 6-11pm
    Saturday (riding): 7am - Noon
    Sunday (riding): 7am - Noon

    That is a tough schedule when you live 1.5 hours from the location, and have to work early Friday morning.
    #17
  18. Vulfy

    Vulfy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    575
    Location:
    NYC
    During the lecture when you get off your bike, or even some demonstrations on the field, put your gloves or something on the seat of YOUR bike.

    Each bike is a little bit different, and I remember as a total beginner a difference in how much of a play clutch lever had, completely threw me off, when somebody sat on my bike and I had to get on somebody else's.


    So yeah, mark your bike somehow, and stick with it.
    #18
  19. 4TooMany

    4TooMany Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Ann Arbor
    When we see couples taking the class together, we usually recommend they separate from each other on different ranges (assuming they have more than one range running at a time). Almost nothing good comes out of being on the same range. You're more distracted because you're watching each other, and in many cases one usually tries "helping" the other. Trust me, you're not helping. Let the coaches do their jobs, and compare notes later.
    #19
  20. Hesaid

    Hesaid Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,185
    Location:
    Central CA
    We didn't really think about this part until after the fact. Had we thought about it, we may have opted for seperate class dates. I don't think it will be too much of a problem, as we(I) plan to let the instructors do the teaching. I don't have a problem helping with things like "Which one is the clutch?" and "What does this button do?", but as for riding, that's what the pro's are for. Besides, I'm hoping that I'll be learning quite a bit as well.

    MV
    #20